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Matchup: Shimek vs. Ely

Michigan State's Liz Shimek vs. Tennessee's Shyra Ely

Sunday, April 3, 2005; Page E10

Ely, a 6-foot-2 senior forward, has been on a mission to end her career where she started it. The 2001 Indiana Miss Basketball from Ben Davis High School in Indianapolis received the "big sunglasses" award, handed out by the team to the player showing the most focus, after her 23-point performance against Texas Tech in the region semifinals. That focus hasn't wavered.

"I think we won't get caught up in the experience," Ely said. "We can focus on our goal, which is winning the national championship."

(Rusty Kennedy -- AP)

Ely has come on strong lately since she moved from playing small to power forward and is averaging 15 points and 7.5 rebounds in the NCAA tournament. She is not easy to contain, but Michigan State will want to remember how Rutgers flustered her in the region final and held her to nine points.

Shimek, a 6-1 junior forward, has been Michigan State's most steady performer. She leads the team in scoring and rebounding,, averaging 15 points and 9.1 rebounds. After surpassing 1,000 career points earlier this season, she is on pace to become the first woman in school history to score 1,000 points and grab 1,000 rebounds.

Shimek is a tenacious rebounder. Michigan's Miss Basketball in 2001 owns the state high school record for career rebounds (1,533) and set the season record at Michigan State with 319. Almost 40 percent of her rebounds come on the offensive end. Tennessee needs to limit her second chances.

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